In a dramatic turn of events in Maharashtra politics, all 22 MLAs with Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Gujarat’s Surat will soon be resigning later today, confirmed reports have come in. Of the 22 Sainiks “holed up” in the Surat hotel, 5 are reportedly ministers. Top sources informed that the belligerent group met Gujarat state BJP president C.R. Paatil late Monday night at the hotel.
Eknath Shinde has also been offered the post of deputy Chief Minister if he manages to create a separate faction and break away from the Maharashtra government. Meanwhile, with a tweet earlier today, Shinde has dropped sufficient hint that he has decided to part ways with Shiv Sena to chart start a new innings. Hinting at a switch, Shinde has also dropped “Shiv Sena” from his Twitter bio.
In a tweet in Marathi, Shinde said, “We are Balasaheb’s staunch Shiv Sainiks … Balasaheb has taught us Hindutva .. We have never and will never cheat for power regarding Balasaheb’s thoughts and Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb’s teachings.”
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, meanwhile, said Shinde has been sacked as Shiv Sena group leader in Maharashtra Assembly.
“We are in touch with our MLAs who are in Surat now. We are discussing the situation with Uddhav Thackeray Ji and Pawar Sahib. Those working with the thought that they are kingmakers will be unsuccessful,” added Sena’s Sanjay Raut. The numbers are interesting. As of now, BJP has 106 MLAs, Shiv Sena has 56, NCP has 53 and Congress has 44. There are 2 Independent MLAs and 27 in the “Others” category.
Deputy CM Ajit Pawar is scheduled to meet CM Thackeray at 6 pm this evening. Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar has emerged the king maker of the moment.